It was the late 90’s and I’d been showered by a hailstorm of social anxiety from all the bullying in school, the heart-ripping depression from my parents divorce, the personality numbing drugs I had to be put on to ease the affects of my A.D.D. so I could stop failing in school, and so much stress that I’d started to pull my eyelashes out. Did I mention the tourettes? Oh yeah, that was a great addition.
One day I found myself in the darkest moment of my life: a grave mistake I’m SO glad I never made, because there would’ve been no coming back. And there was just one change that stopped me from this mistake. I used to shout out, “Why me, why me?”, and in a split second before I was about to make the stupidest decision of my life, something popped in my head, “Why NOT me?”. It was a small change, but I never would’ve known that just 3 letters would change my life…forever!
Who Am I?
I’m vengeance, I am the night, I am…Ok, I’m not Batman, (nor anything remotely close), but I am a HUGE batman fan if that counts. Getting back to my story, I wish I could say I became this perfect super hero after some radio active lightning strike, but to be genuinely honest, it was far from that.
It was no cake-walk. For the next 20+ years, I pushed myself to face every fear I could to get over my social anxiety and depression. I even achieved 2 black belts during the most draining part of my life, (that’s the closest I can say it gets to being like a butt-kicking, super powered badass). I constantly faced panic attacks, immense fear and crippling doubt every single day. So what kept me going? Giving.
The first thing I decided to to during the most depressed stage of my life was the one thing I could do: relate to other depressed people. So I flipped open my laptop, hopped on myspace (what the crap is myspace right?), and anytime I ran across someone writing a depressing post, I’d do the craziest thing I could think of…message a stranger (gasp!).
Back then, social media was brand new and it was weird talking to people I never knew, especially considering how much social anxiety I had. But I reached out, listened and offered any comfort I could. Then something strange happened: I started feeling like I actually mattered, like I had a voice, almost even like I had a purpose in a world that I originally felt made me as a joke for tourment to play with.
So for the past 18 years, I’d messaged hundreds, if not thousands of people going through tough times, and it inspired me to start helping my own life. So I achieved my black belts after pushing myself hard in 5 martial arts, got placed on the Deans List in college after earning my bachelors degree, sung & hosted in front of thousands of people, and started a career in inspiring others, (without the marshmallow puff society thinks about happiness and success. In fact, that’s what I’ve been tearing down most, and it’s exactly how I’ve helped so many people go easy on themselves).